Let's Fix This Country
foreign policy

Remind Us: What’s the Six-Nation Ban For?

The Trump administration rescinded its original executive order that would have blocked ingress by the people of seven
Seven countries originally banned are in red.
Iraq has since been removed from the ban.


Muslim nations, and substituted a new six-country version with the rough edges that the Ninth Circuit court objected to filed down.

It is still problematic, is still in violation of a Supreme Court ruling that entry to the U.S. cannot be based on nationality. The state of Hawaii filed suit. So have California, Minnesota, New York and Oregon. A Hawaiian judge has ruled a halt to the ban, the second time the courts have stopped it. President Trump says he will take it all the way to the Supreme Court, by which time, with extreme vetting long since installed to his satisfaction, a 90-day ban will make no sense whatsoever.

Let's step back to ask again what this ban is for. Its stated purpose — unchanged, unless in secret — is to pause admissions to the country for 90 days (120 for Syria) while the administration works out what should constitute extreme vetting. Let's momentarily set aside that there is and has been extreme vetting in place for some time, a fact that the administration perversely ignores and which raises suspicion as to whether there is some other motive. For the moment what is interesting is that the original ban was declared a week after Donald Trump took office and the new ban was to start March 16. That's an interval of 43 days. Dreaming up extreme vetting policy does not require the silence of closed airport gates with no one entering, which means the administration by the 16th had 43 days to work on vetting procedures. Why then does the new ban need to be 90 days? Why not 47? Has the administration done nothing to further their vetting objectives during those 43 days? How can they now justify 90?

The court stoppage will delay the ban further, so we could well find that most or all of those 47 days will slide by just as did the 43 days, totaling the 90 days the administration said were needed.

So with so few days left, just what is the point of the administration staging a fight with the courts other than sheer obstinacy? What is the point of disgracing the United States with so crude and prejudicial a policy that it offends entire countries — even unbelievably Iraq originally, putting in danger our troops who are in country fighting ISIS, a country that we must continue to work with? Why shatter our historical image of being welcoming to immigrants? Is this just Donald Trump insisting on having his way? Or was it fraud — an intention of extending the ban indefinitely, once another diversion is set loose to make people forget the original 90 days.

getting it wrong

Is there a media outlet that hasn't reported that none of the terrorists in the U.S. have come from the original seven countries and that 15 of the 9/11 killers came from a country mysteriously (winks all around) not among the banned — Saudi Arabia? The President's own Homeland Security Department just came out with two reports, the first saying that nationality is a poor basis for blocking terrorists. The second — and much more consequential — concluding that the terrorists we've experienced have been radicalized here, in the United States. They didn't come in covertly from elsewhere. That slick ISIS propaganda using American social media has done the job, is an excellent bet.

And why hasn't it occurred to the Washington solons that banning Muslim countries is sure to radicalize that many more Muslims living peaceful lives in this country but now stirred to a martyrdom of outraged killing by this blanket insult to their religion.

going to extremes

One of Trump's campaign lies was that tens of thousands of Syrians — mostly young men — were entering the U.S. and "we don’t know who they are, because we have no system to vet them". He would institute "what I call EXTREME VETTING", he tweeted and repeated at every campaign stop.

Tens of thousands of Syrians were not entering and a grueling vetting process was already in place, as we reported in "The Syrians Are Coming! And Americans Cower in Fear" half a year ago:

The vetting, which Trump thinks does not happen at all, typically takes 18 to 24 months. All refugees are first interviewed repeatedly by the United Nations to learn the details of their lives, and from that process emerge only 1% who are then recommended to the United States for additional vetting. For that 1% the next step is a State Department resettlement center in Amman, Jordan, "for a background check led by specially trained Department of Homeland Security interrogators", reported a recent piece on CBS's "60 Minutes".

"Mostly we focus on victims of torture, survivors of violence, women-headed households, a lot of severe medical cases. [There are] so many interviews, so many intelligence screenings, so many checks along the way. They are questioned at least three times by interviewers looking for gaps or inconsistencies in their stories".

Additionally, their use of social media is searched. The data collected is passed through U.S. intelligence databases looking for any red flags.

But don't take our — or their — word for it. Here is Reuel Marc Gerecht, a Middle East expert and contributing editor of The Weekly Standard, which calls itself the "#1 conservative weekly magazine":

The difficulties for Muslim Middle Easterners to obtain visas or refugee status have exponentially increased...The Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security, and even State Department consular officers ruthlessly profile those seeking entry. For al Qaeda or the Islamic State to plan terrorism inside the United States using non-American, non-green-card-holding, and non-European Muslim agents would require enormous luck and patience.

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